Welcome To The Bay

6th May to 7th May 2017

Tauranga, NZ

Dinner with the first bunch of Cuzbro’s was great, and it wasn’t a late night. Aaron and Cindy had had big days, and the kids had sport in the morning. We were knackered too, so went to sleep in no time, in the comfy, cozy bed. Saturday morning, was a bit slow, and the kids were getting ready for sports, while showing us some of their favourite YouTube channels. Wow, who knew what kids liked these days. So Owen was off to rugby with Dad, and Emma was off to soccer with Mum, I remember those days, and we were off to catch Uncle David again. After another coffee, we got sorted and headed through the town centre, and to the Marina where Dave’s little old fishing boat was moored. It is a really old fishing boat, that Dave and Anne have repaired and painted. Very cute.

 

They said she was a bit slow, but Emma K was great for a potter around.

It is not a speedy boat, but in this amazingly, gorgeous, autumn weather, it was lovely just pottering around the inlet and harbour. Lots of boats out, and heaps of people along the city foreshore, at the opening of a new swimming area. The currents through here are very strong, and it hasn’t been very safe for kids to swim, so they have built a small jetty, platform for jumping in, and a floating pontoon jetty to enable more safe swimming areas. They have also built concrete steps, and a good sitting area near the water. Lots of kids jumping in and doing bombies and having a ball. Bloody crazies, that water is freezing, by Aussie standards.

 

This harbour/port is one of the busiest in New Zealand. Lots of ships coming and growing.

After our enjoyable little cruise around, we stopped for a light lunch at the marina cafe, before taking up our bats, and smacking a few balls around. No, not cricket bats, there were no fours or sixes. We had a bash at croquet. David plays, and is pretty good, (5th inNZ, well his club anyway) and apparently my great Grandmother (Granddads side) played, way back when. So I should be good by default. Well, maybe those talent genes have been diluted too much, over the generations, it was a bit harder than we thought. Plus David cheats. That is definitely a family trait.

 

Good at the start, but lost our shit by the end, too much pressure and thinking.

Will and I teamed up, with two balls each, and we held our own until the last hoop, where David had the first shot, and managed to get his ball through the hoop with one hit, from the other end of the green, about 10 or so meters away. Not an easy task, this is real grass, lumpy and uneven, and the balls don’t roll particularly straight, often. So he won, 3 hoops to 2, and I would totally recommend you have a go at this old game. Strategy, skill and luck. It was fun. But old gimpy legs Colquhoun’s, we were feeling the pain, so Dave took us off to Mt Maunganui hot pools, for some recovery time. Man these were good. They used to flow straight out of the underground saltwater springs, but it was too hard to keep an even temperature, and ensure the cleanliness and safety of the water, with more and more visitors. So now, they run fresh water in pipes, through the springs to heat it, and it is salted and chlorinated. The pool we hopped into, was at about 35C, and was fantastic. Will went and tried one of the spas, which was about 38C, and reckoned it cured his leg, well, momentarily. I think we need to make more stops at places like this.

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That water was beautiful and warm, just what we needed.

Aaron had made a call for help, just before the hot pools, so once we had got all wrinkled up and prune like, not to mention sleepy, we took the beach road all they way back to Papamoa. Great drive, and beautiful stretch of beach. The boys did a quick job, we had a beer and a bit more of a chat, before heading back to Welcome Bay, with an overloaded trailer, making it a very slow and cautious journey. Home safe and sound, we had dinner, that Dave had put on this morning, got to love the slow cooker. And another early night. Great day!

 

Can’t ignore this awesome view. The sun is warm when there is no wind.

Sunday, Dave was off to help rehabilitate a little river system nearby. They have a group,of farmers and like minded people, who are working to get the hills and banks back to native vegetation to try and recover the local ecosystems. So we decided to go along and help. So in the summer, they collect the seeds from native plants, pot them and then in the winter, they plant. They have been working along the Waitao river for 10 years. Wow, dedicated and caring. We found our way out there, and met the group available today. Only five locals, and us two lazy, gimpy Aussies. Oh well, 240 plants to get in, let’s give it a burl! This country has been cleared and farmed to buggery, and the grasses have thrived. So we walk down, and up and over to the spot, which nearly killed my leg, so that was me, I’m here, and I’m not going back up until it’s done. All the plants had to be carried down, as it was not suitable for the 4WD and trailer. So we all carried plants on the down journey, and then we had a couple of men on hole digging, a couple on transporting plants, and the rest of us planting. It was a lovely warm spot, and the Kiwi’s (and one Pom, Clare the property owner) were sweating like pigs, I was comfy. So we worked hard, chatting and planting, for just over two hours, and got all the plants in. Very satisfying. But Will and I were buggered, most work I’d done in two frickin years. Then we had afternoon tea and went back to Dave’s to relax on the couches in the sun. Good work team. They do this every fortnight, and it is really inspiring to know that a small group of caring people can make a huge difference.

 

Another beautiful day, so let’s smash this out and relax. The locals wanted to have a swim in the littleness creek. Crazies!

The rest of the day was just pottering about, enjoying the view, and relaxing around a nice fire outside. Anne came back from Auckland, we had dinner and enjoyed a few wines. Tomorrow we’ll go find some more Cuzzies.

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2 thoughts on “Welcome To The Bay

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